Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 2:12-16
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 2:12
v12: After the wedding Jesus walked with His mother, brothers and disciples to the town of Capernaum, on the north shore of the Sea (lake) of Galilee. It’s a distance of about 18 miles. John doesn’t tell us why they spent these few days together. We might wonder why John even mentioned this event. The simplest explanation is that he recorded the trip to Capernaum because it happened, and John remembered it because he was one of the disciples who was there with Jesus. We’re not told what took place during those days, but one possibility is that this was the moment of transition for Jesus. He may have wanted time with His family to explain to them what had happened to Him at the Jordan River and in the wilderness of Judea.

Monday: John 2:12
v12 (continued): Also, His brothers must have known about the miracle He had just performed at Cana which turned water into wine, and surely they would have had questions about that, because the eldest brother they had known as children had been a normal, if unusually good, young man. He had not performed any miracles prior to this (Lk 2:51-52). But this relationship was about to change. This was the moment when Jesus was stepping out of His role as the eldest son and as the primary breadwinner for their family. The other sons now would have to carry a greater responsibility for their mother and siblings. Jesus was leaving home and stepping into His ministry. He would soon travel south to Jerusalem, and with the cleansing of the temple (vs13-23), that ministry would explode into the public consciousness. On occasion He would visit Nazareth (Lk 4:16; Mk 6:1-6), but He would never live at home again. Such things needed to be discussed and, as much as possible, an explanation given of why He was doing what He was doing. These few days spent together in Capernaum may have allowed for that discussion. Unfortunately, as later events will prove (Mk 3:20-21, 31-35; Jn 7:2-5), His brothers did not believe Him.

Tuesday: John 2:13
v13: The first four chapters of John’s gospel (Jn 1:19-4:42) take place during the first year of Jesus’ ministry. Thankfully, John includes a number of events which the other gospel writers do not. Beyond their accounts of Jesus’ birth, childhood and baptism at the Jordan River, Matthew, Mark and Luke begin their descriptions of Jesus’ ministry at the point when He returned to the Galilee region. But John begins with John the Baptists’ announcement at the Jordan River, and follows Jesus north to a wedding at Cana, and then down to Capernaum for a few days together with family and disciples. He tells us that after that, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the first of three recorded Passovers (Jn 2:13; 6:4; 11:55).

Wednesday: John 2:13
v13 (continued): Next, John tells us that Jesus left Jerusalem and spent an extended period of time (months?) somewhere in the region of Judea training His disciples and baptizing believers (Jn 3:22). Then we learn that while He was there in Judea, Jesus was told that the Pharisees had discovered that He was baptizing more people than John the Baptist (Jn 4:1). I think this dangerous moment may have occurred shortly after John the Baptist was arrested (Mt 4:12; Mk 1:14). When He heard this warning, Jesus quickly headed back to Galilee, passing directly through Samaria (Jn 4:3-4). On His way He spent two days evangelizing in the city of Sychar (Jn 4:43) and then finally returned to Galilee.

Thursday: John 2:13
v13 (continued): Without John’s gospel we would not have known about these activities which took place in the early season of Jesus’ ministry. Knowing about these things provides some important perspectives on certain events which otherwise seem very sudden and unexpected. An example of this is the amazing amount of hostility the religious leaders from Jerusalem felt toward Jesus, from what appears to be the very earliest days of His ministry (Mt 15:1; Mk 3:22; Lk 5:17). But because John shows us that Jesus actually went to Jerusalem at least four times during those years (Jn 2:13; 5:1; 7:10; 12:12), the first being the Passover we’re reading about now, we understand why. We discover that upon His first visit to Jerusalem, Jesus immediately clashed with the religious leaders.

Friday: John 2:14
v14: When He entered the temple what He found there deeply grieved Him, stalls full of animals for sale and tables set up for money changers who were exchanging foreign currencies into the coinage which was considered appropriate to be given as an offering. The huge, paved courtyard, which surrounded the actual temple structure itself, had been turned into a noisy, smelly marketplace. This area within the walls of the temple complex was called the “Court of the Gentiles.” It was intended to be a place where non-Jews, or Jews who were ceremonially unclean, could come to worship Israel’s God. From Abraham’s time onward, God had made it clear that He chose Israel to serve a purpose beyond themselves. They were to be a source of spiritual blessing to the rest of the world (Ge 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; Ex 19:5-6; Isa 56:3-8; 60:4-13; Zec 14:16, etc.). It was prophesied that the nations of the earth would come to that place to learn about God, to seek His guidance and to worship Him (e.g. Isa 2:2-4; 11:10-12). So a court had been built to welcome them.

Saturday: John 2:14-16
vs14-16: When Jesus entered that courtyard, He found people selling oxen, sheep and doves. Coin dealers were also sitting at their tables. His response was to fashion a whip out of some small ropes and then He used that whip to drive the sheep and oxen out of the area. After that, He poured the coins which the money changers had collected onto the ground and then turned over the tables where they had been sitting. He didn’t use the whip on the doves, of course, but to those who owned those cages of doves, He said in effect, “Pick these things up and take them out of here. Don’t make My Father’s house a place to sell merchandise.”  

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